Although they used to grow grapes without a trellis in the old days (and probably still do in many vineyards and gardens), I really prefer my grapes on a grape vine trellis (also know as a grape arbor), especially when they’re getting started. Grape vines can ramble a bit, so without a trellis to train them it can get hard to get them to grow where you want them to.
So far, I’ve just used fences to train grape vines up. But, I’ve always wanted a proper grape trellis, a nice sturdy, wooden one. I’ve collected a few in this article for inspiration and to share them with you. I’ve only included proper, sturdy ones. I’m all for recycling and using existing materials, but a clothes rack for growing grapes on just won’t cut it for me. Grapes can live for a really long time so I’d like to something that’ll last a really long time. So, only tough trellises made the cut today 😀
Below are a couple of photos of my (amazing, *grin*) grape trellises.
This is grape vine #1, also known as Grape Blanc. Not because it’s white but because the tag has a blank label where it should specify the name… It’s a red grape, that much I remember. You probably can’t see the grape itself very well, but it’s next to the ratty bit of shadecloth and it will grow up the metal fence. If it does well enough, I’ll also train some of it over the chicken coop. Free food for chicken is sooo my thing!
The chickens don’t look too impressed yet, but that could be because it’s the rainy season and everything is soaking wet. I need to fill their coop with some extra soil or gravel to build it up so that the water doesn’t sit in it. The girls have a big run that’s dry (well, it runs off well so it’s not soaking) but the hen house itself is so muddy. The beautiful white chickens are definitely NOT white now.
Although I can’t 100% remember the name, I think it’s this one:
- Medium sized, light red fruit, tastes sweet and crisp
- Plants are fairly vigorous and are very productive
- Heat-tolerant and ideally suited for southern gardens
- Full Sun, Self Pollinating, Ripens early
- Hardy in zones 7-10
Here’s grape #2. This grape does indeed have a name and it is… Jumbo!
As you can see, I’m not super inventive with my grape vine trellises, which is why I’m writing this post really – to find some really great grape vine trellis designs from around the web. I’ve found some good ones!
Jumbo is a Muscadine grape, like this one:
- Black fruit are small in size with very large clusters and...
- Makes beautiful dry red wine, that holds its color well as...
- Fruit has 18% sugar Extremely productive vines Good disease...
- Hardy in zone 7- 9
- Self-fertile Ripens in mid to late September
It bears big fruits and gives you a big harvest, perfect!
Another trellis I’m using, although not for a grape at the moment, is this one, below. It’s supporting a rogue pumpkin, a jasmine and a climbing Frangipani. Yep, they’re packed in tight around here.
This is a super easy backyard grape trellis you can build. All you need is a couple of sturdy wooden posts, a fence panel or tough wire mesh, and these handy things:
Another favorite way for a grape arbor is growing grapes up already-exiting trees. This idea comes from the whole “backyard jungle” I love, a wild food forest. In a wild food forest, you make use of every space you’ve got, grow things up things and under things and in between things, too. I’ve got a huge fig in the backyard that would make a perfect food forest grape trellis:
I’m already growing some things up it, on one side only because the kids climb it from the other side (so I suppose Dragon Fruit is out on that side?) but this tree is at least 4 feet across so there’s plenty of room.
You can buy some pretty spectacular grape arbors online, look at the ones below! But, there’s something about building your own, I think.
Backyard Grape Vine Trellis DIYs, Designs and Ideas
Let’s look at some awesome grape trellises other people have built!
1. How to Build a Grape Trellis by Old Man Stino
This is a detailed tutorial on building a high-cordon grape trellis. Old Man Stino describes it as “the simplest to construct and maintain” — a win for all! It’s built with one wire in between two end post, then some posts in the middle to stop the vines from sagging.
Like my Jumbo, he’s also planting Muscadine grapes because they get big, looks like I made the right choice there.
2. Building a Backyard Grape Arbor by Our Stoney Acres
This grape arbor cost about $200 to build, but the result is stunning! The tutorial for building your own grape arbor fully takes you through the process step-by-step, from post holes to adding lattice. It even includes a shopping list! I’d love to have one of these to grow my grapes on, maybe the husband’s up for a new project? Have a look at Our Stoney Acres for the full tutorial.
3. DIY Grape Arbor by a Piece of Rainbow
This arbor by A Piece of Rainbow is similar in shape to Our Stoney Acres’ arbor, which is one of my favorite shapes of freestanding arbors. There’s something about growing grapes in the middle of the yard! Another great, in-depth tutorial with a list a list of all the lumber you’ll need to DIY a grape trellis.
4. Building a Simple Arbor by Weed ‘Em & Reap
I really like this backyard grape trellis. Yes, it’s simple, but it looks super sturdy and would fit just about anywhere in the garden. It looks a lot like my old Dragon Fruit trellis my husband built for me; I tried very hard to find a photo of it but can’t. Will definitely upload when I find it. I love the round wooden posts and the double support bars. It’s an entertaining tutorial as well, highly recommend you have a read, it’s at Weed ’em & Reap.
5. Wood Entry Gate as Grape Trellis
This super sturdy entry gate to our property (we’ve since moved) was built by a man who was legendary at wielding a chainsaw. The support posts are huge and packed in with soil, not concrete. The horizontal supports are all cut into the posts with a chainsaw and it was built from local hardwood.
Something like this would make an excellent grape arbor; come home, grab a grape before you open the gate! Could become the name of the property, “Grape Gate” or “Grape Grab” I suppose… Catchy 😀
6. DIY Grape Arbor by Homemade Food Junkie
Kayti and Diane from Homemade Food Junkie have an amazing, 60-year old grape vine in their backyard. It was already supported by a grape arbor, as well as an old shop, but the old arbor needed replacing. They decided to write this tutorial to share how they built their DIY grape arbor. This grape vine is absolutely amazing, look at the trunk of it!
7. DIY Grape Arbor and Gazebo by DIY Show Off
This is not a step-by-step tutorial for building this exact grape arbor, but it shows you lots and lots of pictures of how they replaced their old, rusty arbor with a new one, without breaking the existing grape vines. I’ve included it because it is my favorite shape of all. I really like the idea of the grapes growing over the top of a covered walkway, before covering a nice seating gazebo, it’s like a setting from a movie! You can see all the photo’s at the DIY Show Off.
You could use these as the base for the grape gazebo:
They’re all at Fifthroom.com and it’s only a very small preview of all the different pergolas they offer. There would be amazing grape trellises!
8. Building a Vineyard Trellis by DIY Diva
Written by Kit, “Bridging the gap between woman and powertool-wielding badass (farmer), one project at a time.” Step-by-step tutorial to building a really decent-sized grape vine trellis, including a shopping list and the tools you’ll need. A tractor with post-hole digger or even a manual post-hole digger would come in very handy for this grape trellis! Read the tutorial at DIYDiva.
We’ve got a small excavator that does most of the work around the homestead, but we still borrow the neighbor’s tractor with 3-point post hole digger when there’s serious hole digging that needs to be done. A digger is great for pretty much anything, but when used for post holes, it’s hard to get “just” a pole hole. You generally end up with a small pond instead. Here’s some post hole diggers from super manual to much-less manual:
9. How to Build a Grape Pergola by Popular Mechanics
This is a great tutorial on building a square pergola. It’s not specifically for growing grapes on, but it would be perfect for it! I quite like the shape of it too, it would have enough room underneath for a chair or two.
10. DIY Rebar Grape Arbor by Zephyr Hill Farm
Not wood for this grape arbor, but rebar! It’s a similar design to how we used to build the shade housed for our plant nursery, except we used big 2″ water pipe instead to make the hoops. I love the idea of rebar, it’s super tough and long lasting. You can see it built at Zephyr Hill Farm.
I wonder whether it may still need support in the middle once the grape vines get big (depending on the variety you choose probably, some of the Concords especially get huge and keep on gettin’ huger!) so the rebar doesn’t cave in, but it’s such a good start. It allows you to build a BIG arbor very cheaply so you can start a whole lot of grape plants.
If you’re wondering who sells Concord grapes… these people do:
- Concord is the traditional grape to make grape jelly and...
- Concord grape wipe Produces bunches of large, blue-black,...
- Grapes is self-fertile, but planting more than one vine is...
- Prefers acidic soil Should be planted 6'–8' apart using a...
- Grapes Growth Rate is medium and full sun
11. Handmade Wood Trellis for Grape Vines by Craft Yourself
This grape trellis is so pretty! It’ll also provide some extra privacy from neighbors and you might even be able to share some grapes with them. Craft Yourself included quite a few photos and although it’s not a full step-by-step tutorial, the photos are very clear and I think you’d be able to figure out how to build this one. Saving it for next year when my dad comes to stay – he’s a carpenter and would love to build this grape arbor!
12. Constructing a Vineyard Trellis by Paul Demoto
This is the most comprehensive grape trellis tutorial I’ve seen. It covers a few different methods of trellising, with photos, information on materials and tools and other helpful information. It was written by Paul Demoto from the Department of Horticulture, Iowa State University. It’s a presentation for the Iowa Grape Growers Conference in 2002. I found this at Prairie Fire Winery.
13. Build a Trellis to Last a Lifetime – Instructables
A T-shaped grape arbor with great instructions on how to build it yourself. Find it at Instructables.
14. Building A Grape Arbor by Tom Zabadal and Gaylord Brunke
This is a super, super detailed tutorial on how to build a grape arbor by Tom Zabadal and Gaylord Brunke for Michigan State University. Covers everything from posts to materials, placement and tools.
15. Cedar and Wire Grape Arbor by GrowingFruit.org
Love this sturdy grape arbor by GrowingFruit.org! I can only hope my grape vines will look like this in a few years.
How to Train a Grape on a Trellis
I’m by no means an expert on training grapes. I’m more of a wild gardener, never seem to prune anything except for when I feel like it, and nothing really gets trained unless it blocks a door or something…
However… I also don’t get a huge amount of grapes so I’ve been looking for a good resource for training and pruning grapes. I’ve found a fantastic one by Utah State University. There’s one image below, but that’s just one bit of information. There’s a whole PDF on grape trellising and training basics! It’s full of great info and you can find it here: Grape trellising and training basics – Utah State
Grape Trellis and Arbor Kits
If you’re not into DIYing a grape trellis, let’s look at what type of grape trellis kits or arbors you can buy, I already mentioned Fifthroom above, they have a huge range of amazing grape trellises. They’re pricey, but hey, one can dream! I’ve included my favorite grape arbors and trellises here.
Treated Pine Bella Arbor
Treated Pine Classic Arbor
New England Arbors 8 ft. x 8 ft. Mirage Pergola [More] at TractorSupply.com
- Generous white, vinyl arbor brings style to your garden
- Classic arch creates a wonderful focal point
- Windowpane-inspired side grid helps support climbing plants
- White color remains vivid and crisp for many seasons
- All vinyl construction ensures a lasting and low maintenance...
- Powder coated finish flat top arbor
- Steel construction; rust resistant
- Powder coated helps to prevent the onset of the wonderful...
- Provide an adequate first step for climbing plants
- Available in black color and measures 26-inch deep by...
- Weather-resistant Vinyl
- Easy to assemble
- Maintenance free
- 20 year warranty
Lastly, no point for a grape arbor if you have no grape plants….
Southern Home Muscadine Hybrid Grape – $0Beautiful AND Delicious! Southern Home Grape, Vitis rotundifolia, is such a beautiful plant that you’ll want it just for how it looks growing on your trellis or fence! The finely cut green, Grape leaves make this an airy and romantic vine, like it’s posin
And the bestselling grape plants on Amazon, yes, there’s grape plants on Amazon, bet you’re as surprised as I am!
- White Wine Production
- Plantable Year-Round
- Easy To Grow
- 1 Liter Container Grown
- Container Grown 1 Liter
- Plantable 12 Months (in most locations)
- Complete Planting Instructions Included
- Makes Excellent Red Wine
- Harvest Season: Mid Season
- Hardy to zone 4+.
- It is a vigorous grower that is a very heavy, dependable...
- Color: Blue, Black --- Primary Use:...
- 1 Free plant markers in every packet.
- Container Grown 1 Liter
- Plantable 12 Months (in most locations)
- Easy To Grow
- Complete Planting Instructions Included
- Produces Refreshing White Wine
- Plantable 12 Months A Year
- Easy To Grow
- Planting Instructions Included
- Container Grown
I hope you’ve enjoyed these 15 sturdy backyard grape vine trellis ideas! Time to show me yours now, what’s your grape trellis or grape arbor like?
Last update on 2020-05-24 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API